When it comes to flooring, there are so many factors to consider – how it looks, what it costs, your lifestyle and its environmental impact to name a few. Here we take a deep dive into some of the options to help the decision-making process feel less overwhelming.
The popularity of concrete flooring is continuing to rise. And it’s not hard to see why considering its affordability, style and the dozens of ways you can enhance the look. There are topical stains, acid stains and exotic metallic finishes – so many options to add polish and personality into your home. Comfort is a big factor when considering the flooring in your home, and people often assume concrete is cold underfoot. These days there are options to use radiant floors in the slab, which make the concrete toasty during the winter while remaining cool in the hotter weather.
The best thing about concrete is that it’s extremely easy to maintain. Unlike other types of floor, sealed concrete is the easiest surface in the home to take care of. It So if the washing machine overflows there’s no need to panic about warping or damage that you might get with other floorings – you can just whip out the mop and bucket and get on with your day. Of course, it’s not perfect and it can scratch, but most marks can be removed with the right cloths and lubricants.
If you are looking for something a little more decorative, you can opt for a porcelain floor tile. Great for moisture absorption and movement, porcelain tiles come in a variety of colours, patterns and shapes. Porcelain tiles come in a plethora of styles and variances in cost, from expensive hand-painted glazed tiles to affordable mass-produced ceramics.
There’s a trend in porcelain tile where manufacturers are making tiles that look like hardwood. Some are so similar they could fool the most die-hard wood enthusiast. The beauty of tile, unlike hardwood, is that it doesn’t dent or warp.
Wood & Bamboo
There’s no doubt that wood and bamboo floors give warmth to the interior of a home. With a natural beauty that complements almost all décor styles, there’s a style of wood to suit every home, regardless of age or design.
Opting for prefinished wood flooring means you can cut, install and walk on it on the same day. It’s a durable floor covering, harder than unfinished wood, and will likely come with a long warranty. The trade-off with prefinished wood is that there will be a bevel, or “kissed edge” between the planks. This is a visible join that doesn’t occur when you complete a site finish as the unfinished wood floor is sanded smooth at the time of installation.
Bamboo flooring is often assumed to be wood flooring, but it isn’t– it’s grass! Despite this, we usually refer to bamboo as a wood floor as it is manufactured, cut, and finishes so similarly to wood.
Bamboo has evolved in recent years and the materials that are available are more durable and denser than in the past. It’s at least twice as hard as oak, is long-lasting and has great finishes. In terms of sustainability, bamboo grows fast and tall, and the harvest is more bountiful than wood in the same time period. So if you’re looking at environmentally sustainable flooring, bamboo is a great option.
Vinyl planks are an effective material at a relatively low price point, and fast becoming one of the best-selling flooring choices. Chemically healthy, durable, quiet, vinyl planks can also be used in semi-wet areas. Technology has improved a lot since vinyl planks came on the scene in the 1950s. “Luxury Vinyl Tiles” (LVT) are now thicker, harder planks that are glued down and put together like regular tiles – without the grout.
Vinyl planks also come as a floating floor. And, instead of using fibreboard as the core, many use limestone, making the planks incredibly strong and long-lasting. Vinyl is popular with homeowners as it comes in a variety of colours and grains, and doesn’t require much prep work to install on the subfloor.
If you’re looking for the timber look with the durability of vinyl, Hybrid flooring is a cost-effective way to get the wood floor look without the expensive price tag. Composed of both vinyl and laminate, it’s stain and scratch resistant, waterproof, and UV resistant, meaning your floors can be exposed to continuous sunlight without any discolouration or damage. Using a click locking system, Hybrid floors are easy to install and are suitable to use in any room of the home.
Carpet is warm, soft and comfortable underfoot, making it a popular choice of flooring, particularly in bedrooms.
From a quality perspective, there are two types of carpet; healthy carpet, and everything else. The truth is healthy carpets are expensive compared to regular carpet. So if you were to install a synthetic-free, natural wool carpet free from chemicals, it can get pricey.
However, wool carpet will typically last five times the life of synthetic carpets. With the same amount of traffic on both carpets, the plastic carpet will look dirtier faster whereas the fibre of the wool is easy to maintain and keep clean. From a health point of view, wool is best – it’s a natural fibre free from chemical dyes, pesticides and flame-retardants, and the backing is made from hemp, jute, or cotton.
There’s no rulebook about how many types of flooring you can have, and most homes will have a combination of the above-mentioned flooring throughout. We are always here to consult with you about your flooring options, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.